Why wont my 1yo sleep?

(39 Posts)
MrsKoala Mon 14-Oct-13 21:45:22

DS is a sleep refuser. He sleeps fine and doesn't usually wake once he's eventually given in. But getting him to surrender to it is getting harder and harder. It now takes up to 2 hours to get him to nap and on average 4 hours to get him to sleep in the evenings.

He usually goes down (falls down more like) between 11pm-1am at night. Wakes about 8-10am, grumpy and tired. He then flops about the house whinging for 2 hours and used to go down for a nap waking for lunch all happy. But now he wont even go for his nap. It is 1.38pm here and i have been trying to get him to nap since 11.30am.

I just don't know what to do. He wont lay down or be held. He arches his back screaming and scratching/punching at my face. He is a big boy and very strong.

We co sleep so i don't have a cot to put him in and we don't do CC.

I used to be able to sing and rock him to sleep but the last few weeks it's getting harder and now seems impossible.

Any suggestions gratefully received. I seem to spend the entire day trying to get him to sleep. confused He loves the baby drop ins but is usually sleeping late or too tired/grizzly to go.

MrsKoala Fri 18-Oct-13 16:55:08

Well it turned into an utter nightmare last night. He didn't go down till 1am and it was a real battle. Lots of crying and lashing out. I'm never letting him nap that late again.

With the car (or buggy), we have never managed to transfer him from one place to another while sleeping. He is a really light sleeper where 'distractions' are concerned (sometimes loud farts/snores from DH can wake him up!) and the moment his eyes flicker and he sees people awake and doing something, he seems to get some second wind from somewhere and you can see him drag himself out of a lovely slumber to nose at what's going on confused

Singing seems to send him off to sleep, it's one thing i do when we are winding down and he shakes his head and says 'no' and runs away because he knows that's the start of the bedtime.

I had to sit in the front yesterday and give directions as we had no idea where we were going. But i will have to decamp to the back and start poking him.

I had another chat with DH and have said if we are going out for the day we HAVE to be out by 10 and home by 5pm and no napping for DS after 2.

It's nearly 9 here and he's still sleeping. I have to clean the whole flat as we are moving out tomo, so i am letting him sleep. The jet lag is going to fuck everything up anyway. So i will have to start a fresh on Sunday <sigh>

noblegiraffe Fri 18-Oct-13 07:29:38

If there's someone else in the car, then they sit in the back seat and their job is to keep the baby awake.

If there's no one else in the car, nursery song CDs, lots of toys, and reaching back and poking the baby whenever you stop at traffic lights.

Or you don't leave till later, put them in their pyjamas in the car ready for bed and very carefully transfer them to bed at the other end.

It can be a bit of a military operation sometimes. I sometimes see people out with kids in buggies asleep in the afternoon and wonder how they will manage bedtime because I was constantly monitoring sleep.

MrsKoala Fri 18-Oct-13 05:17:27

Thanks all i really appreciate it.

We've had a couple of better days but ruined it by taking DS out to the lake for the day so he ended up having three over 1 hour naps in the car. The last being 4.30-6pm so the chance of getting him to bed before 11pm is slim. If your babies sleep in the car how do you stop them napping?

I suppose the reason at weekends that DH doesn't go out without us is he wants to see us, but also if he did i would be housebound with DS all week and weekend, and have no adult company at all.

Once we get settled i will try to learn to drive again and that should help to start a better routine.

MsPickle Thu 17-Oct-13 20:04:41

I've a friend that sounds like you Dh who's now a father living overseas. Is love to know whether he's adapted!

Something that struck me from your posts is that if your Dh is away unless you go away you're stuck all on your own for weeks. It sounds to me like you need to build a day to day world for you and your ds that you can then invite your Dh to share. So you're going to be somewhere for a year. Decide that you're going to have a life there as well and how you want that life to be shaped-sounds as if that's what your Dh does. So, you need structure to support your ds. Make it. If Dh wants to sleep in and then work before a cooked breakfast, fine. You get up with ds, go and do something, treat it as brunch/his lunch and then it's nap time. You say that Dh isn't good at anticipating others needs so give him a rhythm to work around.

I faced a different set of circumstances but a similar problem with ds, that baby that NEVER slept! I finally went down the clock time routine path to save me from total collapse. He was younger than your ds but wasn't sleeping through at night so I was running on empty. Through a sheer battle of wills I established napping in his cot. Putting him down asleep to begin with. Then I was later able to flex it so as long as the meals happened at the right time he'd go to sleep. So breakfast at 8, lunch at 12, tea at 5. Dh struggled with this at weekends & I still have to be the clock watcher although dd is different. Dh hated that I'd get ds up even at the weekends for 8 am breakfast but I had to-it was me and my time with ds that was suffering. (The routine started when he still had a morning nap). 12 lunch could, once established, be out or in. The 5 pm tea and bedtime routine then made travelling easier as he'd go to bed in the car and we'd travel late transferring him asleep at the other end. Visiting people and staying with them didn't mean they had to follow the routine-I'd simply ask if it was ok that I fed ds at 8, 12 and 5 and figure out the least inconvenient thing for him to eat. And we were better guests as it was faster to get him down. He was far from perfect or an easy sleeper and at 4 still isn't amazing but so much better!

Sorry-jumbled essay and on phone so reviewing awkward, hope there's something useful above! Good luck!

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 17-Oct-13 19:22:40

G&t ffs dam phone. Get

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 17-Oct-13 19:20:59

Ok that makes sense now x could you let him go on his own and stay home with the baby? I know he might not like it but it's you that has to deal with it so really I think you G&t the right to decide this.

MrsKoala Thu 17-Oct-13 19:08:36

Giles - DH is on the spectrum and finds anticipating others needs very hard.

pumpkinkitty Thu 17-Oct-13 19:02:13

My DD is a bit of a sleep refuser. Like your DS she is a mosey little thing.

I have found she needs a long wind down. We read lots of books then she has a fish app in my phone she watches while she falls asleep for naps.

Night time is usually dinner, little bit of a play, in the night garden, bath time, a few long books then feed to sleep or watch her pabobo light while cuddling.

I know the bath is probably not a good idea for your DS bit could you do cartoons, lots of stories, watching a light show in the dark cuddling? I find it's enough to keep her entertained enough for her to not realise she's going to sleep but not so stimulating it keeps her up.

We also cosleep and NCSS didn't work for us. A loooooong wind down is the only thing that works for us

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 17-Oct-13 18:48:32

That doesn't sound right tbh. As a dad he should be able to look after his own child. Is there abreasomnwhy he is like this?

Can you just let dh go out and you stay home? It's unfair for him to refuse to help then expect you to deal with the fall out.

MrsKoala Thu 17-Oct-13 18:34:24

Yes, i know you are all right. When i think of it, it's more a DH issue than a DS one. Our life is utter chaos and DH is a chaotic person. He struggles with time so cannot understand why we can't lay in till 10, spend an hour checking emails/working, have a cooked breakfast, get ready and go out and still have a full day out. We rarely are out before 1pm. I just can't get him to do anything at any kind of schedule. I can't leave him with the baby as he doesn't remember when he's eaten or slept. DH just does what he feels like as and when he feels it and we all fit round that. Its also why i cannot work sad

We had this whole conversation about setting a routine for DS when we return and no travelling for a while as it wasn't fair on poor overstimulated DS, which he whole heartedly agreed to. Then 30 mins later he said 'why don't we all go up to Glasgow for a long weekend when we get back' confused When i say no, he gets upset and i am the bonfire pisser outer yet again.

teacher123 Thu 17-Oct-13 13:07:03

DS has his nap after lunch. He will have it in the car, haven't tried him in the pushchair for a while, but if he was tired enough I reckon he'd drop off. We do days out by going out 9.30ish after breakfast, go and do a thing, have lunch out then drive somewhere else so he can nap in the car etc. we always make sure we're home by about 6.30 so he can go to bed at a reasonable time. I figure they're only at this point for a reasonably short amount of time so am happy to revolve around him at the moment.

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 17-Oct-13 11:24:20

I'm not sure if i could function with a life planned around DS's naps and being home for a bed time routine

I'm afraid you are going to have to if you want this sorted. It's a short term effort for long term gain. Once it's sorted you can go out where ever and whenever knowing that at least he's going to be getting tired at X o clock and you can put him in buggy and he will sleep.

You have no hope of getting any set day or routine or sleep if you carry on the way you are. That would be fine if it worked for you but it doesn't. Is being at home really worse than spending hours getting him to sleep? He sounds massively over stimulated and small children NEED some structure no matter what anyone says.

Honestly, it won't be for long, you can tweak accordingly once things are set in place and he will be so much happier.

noblegiraffe Thu 17-Oct-13 10:55:02

If he went to bed at a reasonable time you could do batch cooking in the evenings. At the moment you say you are spending up to 6 hours a day trying to get him to sleep - that could be usefully spent doing other things if you got his sleep sorted!

Unfortunately, that means you need to bite the bullet re getting up and nap times. If you get his nap sorted - a reasonable, short nap of under two hours, you won't be tied to the house for that long, freeing up the rest of the day. You might even get to the point where he can nap on the go, and if his nap is shorter than usual because you're out, just put him to bed earlier.

Tbh it's not really fair on him to mess around with his sleep so much to suit your lifestyle. He's grumpy, you're grumpy.

MrsKoala Thu 17-Oct-13 08:47:51

I'm not sure if i could function with a life planned around DS's naps and being home for a bed time routine. DH works away a lot so we travel around together and are often in different cities. Or i go and stay with friends/relatives as otherwise i'm all alone for weeks. And the days DH is home we like to go out all day together. DH wont stay in the house for long if he's awake. He hops from foot to foot suggesting we go out confused

Not sure what i can do. I know we need more routine for DS, but it's going to be difficult. Also when he naps is the only time i get to do the housework/batchcook - so i suppose i allow it.

God i'm shit!

teacher123 Thu 17-Oct-13 08:07:52

You can't have it all ways I don't think. We have a strict routine for DS (18mo) and it is restrictive, but I would rather be restricted than have him up till midnight/napping for 4 hours in the day etc. DS is also massively nosy/hyper so he has a completely blacked out room, three teddies in his cot and white noise on. He will not sleep with anyone else in the room, he gets completely wound up, so maybe persevere with the cot as it sounds like he's really overstimulated.

MrsKoala Thu 17-Oct-13 05:59:07

Also Cantthink that routine would have to change our entire lives, i don't drive so often spend the day traipsing round on buses to various cheap supermarkets trying to find better bargains. Or we go up hiking in the mountains or for a bike ride and picnic in the forest etc. Would i have to be housebound or constantly local to instil a reasonable routine?

MrsKoala Thu 17-Oct-13 05:49:16

Thanks, Good advice.

I suppose i am so soft with waketime/naptime because i think 'maybe his teeth are sore/he's not feeling well/having a growth spurt' etc. Also the few times i've woken him he is a beast then just lays on the floor and goes back to sleep anyway, i literally cannot keep him awake.

Last night i got him to bed at 8pm and he slept till 9.30am, he woke a few times in the night - particularly 12.38am but i persevered and rocked him back off. He then slept 12.30-3pm with my DH confused (DH always takes the opportunity to nap with him so when i came back in they were both still asleep). So now it's 9.45pm and he's trying to climb on my head hmm <sigh>

noblegiraffe Wed 16-Oct-13 11:36:17

You're not going to get a consistent bedtime or nap if he is getting up every day at different times. Pick a getting up time and get him up. If you want a 7pm bedtime, then getting him up every day at 7am would be a good start. Tired, grumpy, whatever, consistency is key.

Restrict his nap time. Too much daytime sleep will affect bedtime. Get him up after an hour, hour and a half, fiddle with it to see what works. Screaming, crying, whatever, stick the TV on till he calms down.

No sleep after 3pm, that's asking for trouble.

It's tough, but you can't let him lie in and you can't let him have massive naps or late naps. I have been there!

cantthinkofagoodone Wed 16-Oct-13 11:23:54

I would suggest a completely sterile sleep environment, just one teddy and a night light but the pitch black otherwise.

He just sounds very easily stimulated which is typical for his age. I think he needs a lot of structure so wake up at 7.30
8am breakfast
10 snack
12 lunch
12.30 nap
2 wake up
5.30 dinner
7 to bedroom
Milk, pjs, book, cuddle and bed

Repeat for 2 weeks and he will get the idea. Once you've put him in his cot I'd give it 15 before going back in. If you go in keep the lights off and just say its bedtime now in a soothing voice and don't get him out again.

That's what we do at 15 months. Bedtime battles are a thing at this age do I'm waiting but the above works so far.

MrsKoala Tue 15-Oct-13 20:23:10

Yes MeeWhoo it's more like 4 hours on and off. So a bit of story time and cuddling and then a bit more playing till i think i'll try again. And as i said if he has napped till 5 i wont even bother starting to try to get him to bed till 10pm as it just makes everyone upset.

As for the light/pitch dark - he gets more upset if it's very dark so we have a low night light on till he drops off and we are in bed with him.

The thing is he has such a lovely nature that people just can't see a problem. He's smiley and chatty and interested. Never cries when we are out. Will happily sit in a restaurant and eat all manner of foods (he loves his food!) and when he does sleep he will sleep 10 hours straight - never wakes, went thru the night from 4mo. So i feel bad complaining about him.

MrsKoala Tue 15-Oct-13 20:09:18

No Rhubaarb, sadly he doesn't go to sleep in the pram, just get's hysterical.

He likes to play with twiddly things while he drifts off, usually my hair or my fingers or a shoe lace. He loves his dummy and wont sleep without it.

I may take him back to the drs when we get back to the UK. we have seen drs and HVs about him before but they treat me like a pita first time mum. They look at him and tell me he's more than fine, 'he's exceptional, he's just really clever' etc. which just sounds like another way of saying 'oh fuck off and stop worrying over nothing'.

MeeWhoo Tue 15-Oct-13 20:07:57

(Please note I shouldn't really be giving advice as Ds is 2 and still not sleeping through)

Sounds more or less like ds was, but more extreme. Is the place you are trying to get him to sleep in completely dark? When ds was going through this phase even a bit of light would make him more and more alert, whereas in the dark he gets bored quickly.

Also, i you really are spending 2 or 4 hours non-stop to get him to sleep I would start the process later. I sometimes would give myself 30 mins. if he wasn't asleep or almost asleep by then, I would let him play for 30 mins or so and then try again. In the end he probably used to fall asleep at the same time as if I had not let him play and had persevered in trying to get him to sleep for the whole period of time IYSWIM but it was a bit less stressful.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Oct-13 19:56:48

Have you taken him to the drs. The sleep thing didn't sound to unusual on its own, however combined with all you have posted it may be worth talking to someone just to get him checked over.

fanjobiscuits Tue 15-Oct-13 19:50:27

Can you give him something to do that will keep him busy during the falling asleep bit? Ours is nosy/v observant too and we have just ordered a night light show thing called twilight turtle, hoping it will help after reviews on amazon.

Rhubarb78 Tue 15-Oct-13 19:50:00

Does he sleep in a pram op? My ds used to be like that for daytime naps at that age. I started putting him in his pram in a dark, quiet room and leaving him to it unless he got really upset and then i would go and push him back and forth. I think the fact he couldnt move anywhere because he was strapped in meant he was less able to kick and run about to keep himself awake. I am also a believer of cc though, ds jumps into bed at night now and sings/ chats to himself till he falls asleep.

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